Even as it approached, Super Bowl LI established several records. This was the second appearance of NFC Champions the Atlanta Falcons since their debut in 1999’s SBXXXIII (where they lost to the Denver Broncos). AFC Champs the New England Patriots were gunning for Super Bowl title number 5 out of nine appearances total, the most times any NFL team has been there. Déjà vu was also in play with this being the second time the big game was hosted by three-time host Houston, at the twice-venue NRG Stadium (after SBXXXVIII, which also had the Patriots playing – and winning). By the time it was over, even more records were added to this momentous game, the first after the golden Super Bowl 50.

Overcoming stats and alleged curses

Before Super Bowl LI, statistics showed that no NFL team on this Game of Games has ever managed to fight back and win after a point deficit of more than 10 at halftime. It seemed like an ironclad stat, set to endure for more SBs to come. When halftime arrived and Atlanta pulled ahead of New England 28 to 3, all seemed lost for the Patriots. For the first and second quarters the most veteran Super Bowl participant out of any other NFL team was getting out-styled by the Falcons, a team that only got to this moment once before. At halftime while Lady Gaga was performing, talk abounded that New England may have been jinxed in a way by President Donald Trump who had picked them to win.

However, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wasn’t having any of it. Despite suffering from the “Deflate-gate” debacle that left him unable to play the first four games of the 2016-17 NFL season, none of it mattered come Super Bowl LI. Even as the game was winding down Brady spurred his team into cutting down the nigh-insurmountable lead, and a costly fourth-quarter fumble by his opposite number Matt Ryan of the Falcons enabled the Patriots to make a few new records: biggest comeback, the breaking of the first-half 10-point deficit loss stat, and the first overtime ever called in a SB game.

In that overtime Brady and running back James White sealed the deal to snatch victory from Atlanta for New England, one more time.

Standalone winners

With the impressive outcome of Super Bowl LI, two figures find themselves at the top of their respective heats. Tom Brady has outstripped Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as being the quarterback with the most SB wins, and all for the Patriots to boot, which now has five titles to its name.

New England head coach Bill Belichick also stands alone now as the most winning-est coach in Super Bowl history after passing Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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